Wolff: As long as I can contribute something I will continue

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has played down persistent speculation that he is first in line to succeed Chase Carey as Formula 1 CEO when the American retires.

For the first time since 2012, the Mercedes boss skipped a race – Brazil – last month amid speculation he might be planning his next career move.


Media excited by these whispers, media have embraced the story with little substance (according to Ferrari) but that has not stopped speculation getting to where it is now according to maverick former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan: Wolff could accompany Lewis Hamilton with a move to Ferrari for 2021.

Meanwhile, Wolff told the Austrian broadcaster ORF: “You have to recall that when Niki Lauda and I approached this adventure in 2013, we did so not only as employees but as shareholders in the team. So the question is not just whether I take a job elsewhere, but whether I generally continue in Formula 1.

“At the moment I enjoy it, which is the most important thing I think. It’s certainly less fun than when Niki was there, but the work continues to motivate me. As long as I believe I can contribute something, I will continue.”

Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri said last week that the Maranello team would use its veto to prevent Wolff from replacing Carey as Liberty Media’s F1 boss.

Amid the rumours he is eyeing Carey’s job, Wolff said: “I enjoy the stopwatch and the challenge of being exposed to the brutal truth every other weekend. F1 is a very complex business, with sponsorship, race track contracts, television. So no, I’m having fun with team management at the moment.”

As for Mercedes’ overall commitment to Formula 1, Wolff thinks the German marque will continue for now, “As an entrepreneur, you think long term. So you consider whether F1 will continue to develop positively. I would answer that with yes.

“Do we have a common goal with Daimler? Also a very clear yes. Daimler and Mercedes build street cars and racing cars, that’s our core business, and that’s why we want to continue together.”

Finally, Wolff – whose wife Susie runs a Formula E team – played down claims that F1 may one day be replaced as the top tier of motor racing, “F1 has this huge history of around 70 years and two billion spectators. Formula E has a fraction of that.

“I see Formula E more as an exciting start-up company, which you have to pay attention to. Formula E is establishing itself, but it will not be as big as Formula 1. For me it is more entertainment than sport,” said Wolff.

Big Question: Why the fuss about Toto’s future?